Evolution (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Evolution is basically an attempt by Ivan Reitman to recreate the formula of his own successful Ghostbusters, in which semi-competent sorta-scientists do battle against some superhuman force.

  • Rapidly evolving alien organisms play the part of the ghosties
  • David Duchovny plays the part of Dan Ackroyd
  • Orlando Jones plays the part of Ernie Hudson
  • Julianne Moore plays a cross between Harold Ramis and Sigourney Weaver (she's a nerdy scientist, but she's also the love interest)
  • Stifler plays Bill Murray
  • Dan Ackroyd plays, well, the Dan Ackroyd role was already taken, so Dan took the David Margulies role, which has now become the Governor of Arizona instead of the Mayor of New York

In this case, they don't defeat the giant organism by imagining it to be a Sta-Puft Marshmallow, but by giving it an enema with Head and Shoulders Shampoo. 


Unfortunately for Reitman, he was missing two key ingredients from his formula

1. Bill Murray. There is no substitute.

2. Where was the really cool original music?

Aside from that, it was basically the same movie with a slightly different menace and locale. It has much better monsters, thanks to latter day CGI, but is that why you like movies? If so, go see Jurassic Park instead of this. This one was supposed to be funny, but it wasn't funny enough to be a hit. They spent 80 million dollars on special effects, and apparently not one cent on top comedy writers.

Eighty million dollars.

Oh, well, you don't really care how much they spent when you are watching it. It isn't bad, although some of the comedy falls flat. It's OK if you want to see a pale copy of Ghostbusters. There is some excitement, some fun ...

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • deleted scenes with commentary

... and I laughed out loud once. Orlando Jones got an alien organism in his butt. 

Doctor: "I'll have to go in there and get it immediately. Hurry, it's moving fast." 

Nurse: "I'll get the lubricant"

Doctor: "'no time for lubricant ... "

Orlando: "There's ALWAYS time for lubricant"

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a quarter stars. Ebert 2.5/4, Berardinelli 2/4, Apollo 58/100.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. 41% positive reviews, only 28% from the top people.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.1 
  • With their dollars ... it grossed $35 million. Clearly they hoped for far more. It cost $80 million and was released on 2600 screens. 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C. No classic, but an OK way to pass the time if it sounds like your kind of movie.

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